The legal system of India provides for special and specific tribunals for specific areas of laws owing to the need of quick redressal of grievances. One such area is the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, which provides for a committed tribunal for adjudicating the industrial disputes by way of section 11 and 11A of the act. But as the learners of law, we are well aware that there is a parallel grievance mechanism available for most of the areas, i.e. the writ courts. It is a well-settled law that writ courts cannot be approached if there exists an alternative and effective remedy for the same issue except under exceptional circumstances as enumerated by various precedents of the High Courts and the Supreme Court.

Interestingly, the question arises that to what extent the dichotomy of avaibility of alternative remedy versus hampering of justice can be juxtaposed seen in the light of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 given that the act provides for proper hierarchy of tribunals for the redressal of Industrial disputes.For this, we need to look at the various relevant precedents of the courts.

In the case of Hari Vishnu Kamath vs Syed Ahmad Ishaque, the Supreme Court laid down following principles for Writ of Certiorari in this regard-

i.                   It will be issued for correction of jurisdiction as and when inferior courts or tribunals act without jurisdiction or acts in excess to it or fails to exercise it.

ii.                 It will be issued when tribunals/courts act illegally in the excess of jurisdiction.

iii.              While utilizing the supervisory and appellant jurisdiction.

iv.              To correct an error of law that is manifest on the face of the record.

In the case of Bengal Chemical & Pharmaceutical works Ltd. Vs. Their Workmen, the Supreme Court laid down three grounds wherein a Special Leave Petition can be filed for an industrial dispute-

i.                     Where awards are made in violation of natural justice causing substantial injustice.

ii.                    In those cases which require explanation on an important principles of Industrial Laws and requires final decision by the Supreme Court.

iii.                  Any other exceptional or special circumstances which merits the consideration of the Supreme Court.

Additionally, in the case of Management of Wenger vs Their Workmen, it was held that when the Supreme Court entertains an appeal pertaining to the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, it does not act as a court of appeal of facts but only can decide on the matters of law, guidance, principles.

Hence, we can see that ordinarily, writ courts cannot be approached directly for disputes related to the Industrial disputes, but if there are substantial questions of law and principles, then writ courts are appropriate instrument of remedy.


·        The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.

·        Hari Vishnu Kamath vs Syed Ahmad Ishaque And Others, 1955 AIR 233.

·        Bengal Chemical & Pharmaceutical works ltd. Vs. Their Workmen, 1959 AIR 633.

·        Management of Wenger vs Their Workmen, 1964 AIR 864.


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